August 26, 2012  •  by Jane Carter

Spotlight: Destin Beer Festival

As September leaves blow away and October festivities roll in, a month of beer tasting and Autumn fun will begin. For the past two years, Chan’s Wine World  has extended the craft beer movement across the states by hosting the Greater Gulf Beer Festival, and will do the same this year when hosting the newly branded Destin Beer Festival. We were lucky enough for Randy Hayden, the General Manager of Wine World Destin, to answer some of our burning questions about this exciting event!  Ticketbud sell tickets to Destin Beer Festival!Ticketbud: Tell us a little about the history of the Beer Festival. How did it get started? Randy: This is going to be a long answer. First off my boss and owner of the company, Chan Cox, has been throwing beer festivals(among many other festivals) since the early 1980’s. Our company, Wine World, has actually thrown smaller beer festivals in Destin before this year. When I joined the Wine World team from Atlanta GA almost 2 years ago I witnessed one of these smaller festivals and the gears started turning. I then attended other beer festivals in the area and quickly realized we had  to throw a big time event on a much bigger scale. We then proceeded to organize the Greater Gulf Coast Beer Festival at Uptown Station in Ft Walton Beach last November. The event was the first of it’s kind in our area featuring more than 3 times the selection of the next beer fest, celebrities from the beer industry and an overall quality never seen at a beer fest in region. Despite the event’s success we knew we had to move our event to the heart of the Gulf Coast, and that heart is Destin. We truly love the city of Fort Walton Beach but people who travel to the Emerald Coast travel to Destin and this event is for the people. The move had to be made. The rest is soon to be history…. TB: What is your favorite thing about Destin Beer Festival? Randy: That’s easy, it’s the cause. There are three main reasons for the Destin Beer Festival. First and foremost the focus of the festival is raise money for Children in Crisis. After that, this event is all about our community and the craft beer movement. These three components are the heart and soul of this event and the motivation behind everything that goes into it. Ticketbud loves non-profits like Children in Crisis, Inc.TB: Ticketbud was founded for non-profits and charities, so we love that this event benefits the Children’s Neighborhood of Children in Crisis! What made you choose this charity? Randy: Chan has worked with Children in Crisis for years and once you learn about the charity and meet the people behind it you understand why. There are so many great charities out there but when it comes to the children it’s hard to think of a better cause. I urge everyone who reads this interview to research some info on CIC and they too will understand our partnership. TB: With several types of beers as well as culinary stations at the festival, a quick guide to complementing beer with food would be really helpful! Do you have any pointers? Randy: Well I love food and beer so I often choose my beer around food and vice versa. I suggest trying any and all combos of beer and food parings and choose for yourself. A saying one of my friends and mentors, Michel Thibault, always says is” It’s not what someone else says is good or bad it’s what you think.” Now he is usually talking about wine but it works for beer as well. Beer is very versatile and there are endless combos that work. I guess my advice is go into any a paring with an open mind, and palate, and see what works for YOU! TB: What is your favorite beer and meal combination and why?

Randy: Wow that is really hard! Well I love spicy food so I’ll go with a few spicy food options. The two beer styles that go best with spicy dishes in my opinion are IPA’s( indiapale ales) and Belgian Tripels( triple fermented Belgian blonde ales). I love IPA’s with gumbo, wings and BBQ. Belgian Tripels I love with Asian dishes from Thai to sushi. The citrus and bitterness from the hops in an IPA work well with spices and salt while the sweet candied Belgian yeasts from a Belgian Tripel mesh perfectly with peppery Thai chiles or wasabi.
We would like to give a special thanks to Randy Hayden for telling us more about the roots of the Destin Beer Festival and making us feel more confident choosing between beers in the sea of options that will be available at the festival. Ticketbud is thoroughly impressed with Wine World’s dedication to both a good cause and a good time, and we encourage you to purchase tickets to the Destin Beer Festival and charity fundraiser for only $35 today!
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